That fee was so that we wouldn't have to raise our prices

Raymond Chen

I dreamed that I got screwed by Ticketmaster. I was relieved when I woke up and found out it was only a dream. Bonus chatter: The economics of Ticketmaster. It reminds me of a company who added a service fee to an existing rate plan, and in their FAQ for the service fee, they explained, “That fee was so that we wouldn’t have to raise our prices.” This is some sort of bizarro-world logic. Yes, I know that this is so that the company can continue to advertise an artifically low “price” in all their marketing materials, and then make up the difference by tacking on a boatload of fees. A colleague of mine was purchasing event tickets online, and in addition to the ticket’s face value, there was a processing fee, a facility fee, and an order fee. On top of that, it said, “Total does not include shipping and handling or order processing fees.” Because apparently an order processing fee is not the same as a processing fee and an order fee.

Eventually, they will also add a convenience fee, a 9/11 surcharge, a mandatory gratuity, a fee fee, and a fee collection fee.


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